THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN || If there’s one superhero that has a special standing with me, it is Spider-Man. Having been the only superhero I really followed in my youth, Spider-Man is the easiest character for me to get behind, being a normal teen that gets bitten by a spider and garners superpowers that help him not only impress his love interests but fight crime as well. Spider-Man returns to form in this reboot of the franchise, back to the smart-talking, wise-cracking high school student we knew from the comics. Though Spider-Man 2 remains one of my all-time favorite films, with the perfect casting of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, this could easily slide in as a favorite as well.
KATY PERRY: PART OF ME || Katy Perry, simply put, is extremely attractive. When films like Justin Bieber and Jonas Brothers in 3D came out, I questioned the sanctity of 3D release, but seeing Katy Perry get a similar release documenting her rise to super-stardom, I can somewhat see where these filmmakers are coming from. Though I have no real desire to go out and see this film, getting to stare at Katy Perry and learn about where she came from for an hour and a half does seem somewhat intriguing.
SAVAGES || Oliver Stone has what looks to be a hit on his hands and this looks mainly attributed to the perfect mix of casting and daring storytelling. With Taylor Kitsch finally finding a decent role to carry-on and Aaron Johnson taking a step out of the period piece funk he’s been in, teaming up against the hot line-up of Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek take some interesting roles as well, delivering what looks to be a steamy, sultry, and dynamic showing, including everyone involved. With a historic name like Oliver Stone at the helm and a pitch-perfect marketing campaign, I have high hopes for Savages.
CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT || What looks to be quite the emotional drama about boxing in China, I am not sure where the zeitgeist production team fits in. Perhaps there is more to this film than the trailer leads on, but I was not getting a sense of “social climate” with this film. Rather, the trailer gives off a sense of a somber tone, amidst a lack of storytelling.
COLLABORATOR || Martin Donovan writes, directs, and stars in this dark drama about a playwright having a “bad day” as he heads to his mother’s home after his Broadway play gets bad reviews and is canceled. Upon returning he is taken hostage by a neighbor, David Morse, who has shot and killed a liquor store attendant. David Morse is a great actor, and looks to sell this part wonderfully. I have never been an entirely huge fan of Donovan’s, but perhaps this turn in character will suit him well.
CRAZY EYES || Ever since her appearance on Californication, I have wondered what would become of Madeline Zima’s bright future. This Indie starring Lukas Haas as an alcoholic in Los Angeles, trying to sleep with anyone and everyone, has his eyes set on Zima’s character, whose name is Crazy Eyes. Though it appears she negates his advances, he continues to try with his best friend Jake Busey by his side. There something raw and dynamic about this film, I need to see it.
THE DO-DECA-PENTATHALON || The Duplass Brothers are busy lately, with Safety Not Guaranteed now in theaters and Jeff, Who Lives At Home on DVD, and this new release, The Do-Deca-Pentathalon about two middle-aged brothers looking to relive their childhood with a series of events they came up with in the 90’s. Very competitive, these two brothers put more at stake than just their bodies as this comedy explores the bond between brothers. Very reminiscent of the moods in the Duplass Brothers’ other films, they certainly seem to have a distinct style.
THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE || Morgan Freeman takes an unlikable (or attempt at being unlikeable) role as a wheelchair ridden writer who moves to Belle Isle during a spurt of bad luck. Accompanied by family member Kenan Thompson, Freeman’s character finally comes around when neighbor Virginia Madsen gets involved. The cynical Freeman appears to be the only highlight of this film, even though it is hard to buy Freeman has an angry old man, at least not yet.
NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN || A dark comedy, reminiscent of the Australian equivalency of 50/50, Not Suitable for Children explores the dynamic of a playboy when he finds out he has cancer and in a last ditch effort before becoming infertile, tries to find someone to impregnate. The storyline plays out far too familiar, with the best friends eventually falling in love and none of the plot really makes that much sense, but there’s still something charming about this basic love story.
THE PACT || For an independent horror film, this looks pretty friggin’ scary. With the help from some intense music build-up in the trailer and quick, jarring shots, The Pact looks worth checking out.
STARRY STARRY NIGHT || Very visually striking, Starry Starry Night is another film out of China this week, with some sort of adventure plot between two young Chinese students. Relying mostly on its visuals, I have a feeling there isn’t much more to this film.